GRRRRRR! there it is again!  Looks like thrush!  Why? My stalls are clean, paddocks clean. How can it keep happening? Thrush and horse thrush treatment can be a pain, but I’ll show you way to ease your angst.

It’s not always dirt and wet that can cause thrush. It can be dry hooves but who knows it may be the way the frog is shaped that will hold moisture or bacteria.

First thing to do is to get the hoof trim properly and make sure the frog is trimmed. This could be a problem depending on how bad the frog is. If the frog is to the point where it is bleeding it can be very sore so trimming can only be done a little at a time as the healing takes place. Having the frog in a well trimmed state is very important as this will alleviate most of the thrush problems.

thrush hoof

As a Farrier I’ve seen about every remedy. Some work, some didn’t.  Some caused more problems than you already have.  I do remember a procedure with Iodine crystals and turpentine that would make smoke come off the hoof.  It did help but not always handy to have around.  Then there is bleach. It will help but presents its own problems. Get any on the hairline and you will get burns and some very hard hoof. I never used it…too risky. 

Iodine will work but again if you use it too often it can make the hoof very hard. I did use it for painting the bottom of the sole to toughen them up if hooves got too wet for an extended period of time. There are over the counter products that may work like Thrush XX and Thrush Buster.  Might or might not work.

The Cheap Fix

So now you’ll get the remedy THAT WORKS from an ole retired Farrier (I hate saying ole Farrier).

SALTPETER! (potassium nitrate). I learned this many many many years ago from a Farrier I apprenticed with. It works, it is not hard to use, is not expensive and most times you will only have to apply it once to stop the thrush.

Clean and trim as much as possible from the hoof and frog area. Pour a layer of the Saltpeter (white crystals) onto the frog and down into the crevices.

Then with a blunt tool (I used a blunt screwdriver most of the time)start packing it in all the area where the thrush is.

Salt Peter

At first the horse will be sensitive but the more you pack the area it will numb up and I recommend you pack it in really good. The Saltpeter can run anywhere and will not hurt the horse or hoof. Saltpeter can be purchased at many drug stores or you can order it online for a cost of only about 3 or 4 dollars. A small bottle will last for a long time.

There you have it.

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